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Cognisess Invited to Attend TechInnovation in Singapore

Chris Butt, Cognisess’ CEO, is attending TechInnovation 2018 from the 18th to the 19th September as part of a UK AI delegation sponsored by Innovate UK and the European Enterprise Network (EEN).

TechInnovation is a technology conference dedicated to bringing together technology providers and seekers worldwide. It forms part of Singapore Technology Week as is the biggest Technology fair in the APAC region. Techinnovation specialises in pairing technology with industry needs. Cognisess are one of eighteen UK- based companies selected to take part in by Innovate UK to represent the UK and the EEN.

Our recently announced partnership with Zhaopin, China’s leading talent solutions and recruitment company, has paved the way for Cognisess to reach out to the wider APAC region and market. At Techinnovation, Cognisess will be looking to engage with other potential strategic partners to create business opportunities for our software to be operated on a worldwide basis.

Cognisess will feature with over 160 other exhibitors from the world of AI and Innovation.  Cognisess will be demonstrating how our predictive analytics platform can benefit companies who want to predict the current and future performance of their most valuable asset; their people. Cognisess Pro is already a market leading product, with the most comprehensive set of people assessments on the HR market with over 120+ cognitive, emotional and base skills assessments. With many major enterprises seeking to understand how innovative technologies like AI can transform their business – Cognisess hopes to showcase how our solutions can enable better decision making when it comes to people and their talent.

There will be opportunities to conduct one to one meetings with potential clients and partners allowing Cognisess to showcase at a personal level how Cognisess software can transform their business. The variety of industry talks on offer like, Open Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth, will continue to inspire us to develop our business and software. The Crowdsourcing and Crowdpitching events will provide Cognisess opportunities to seek collaboration or pitch software for the commercial market.

If you are attending the conference, please come and visit us at our exhibition stand. We are at the forefront of the Innovate UK Hub on stand UK01. If you are unable to attend the event but would like a free demo our software please contact: support@cognisess.com.  



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Cognisess Competes in Bath Dragon Boat Race, Surpassing Charity Fundraising Target

Taking part in the annual Bath Dragon Boat Race for the first time, Cognisess raised £1,000 alone for The Mountain Way charity.

On Sunday 9th September Cognisses raced against twelve other local business teams, set the fastest time of the day at 56.63 seconds and qualified for the semi-finals. The team thoroughly enjoyed competing and raising money for the designated charity The Mountain Way.

The Mountain Way is a charity whose aim is to help military veterans suffering from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their programme offers a ten-day excursion into the French Pyrenees mountain town of Bagnéres-de-Luchon on a one to one basis. By eliminating everyday distractions the veterans can start focusing on recovery, allowing them to regain a level of control of their combat- damaged lives.

At Cognisess we are passionate about helping others reach their potential, which is why we are excited to be supporting The Mountain Way. The money donated goes to a good cause – aiding veterans to rehabilitate their mind, rediscover their skills and boost their confidence.

Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess, commented:

“We are so pleased to be supporting The Mountain Way and taking part in the Dragon Boat Race. The day has raised over £5,000 overall – and was fun and exciting for all the teams taking part. I’m proud that the Cognisess Sport crew has risen to the challenge – only losing narrowly by a second in the semi-finals. We look forward to 2019 and going one step further.”

 

Our fundraising page is still open if you would like to support the cause: https://goo.gl/Qasbwa



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Matching IT outliers to organisations

Dr Boris Altemeyer, CSO of Cognisess, has written an article for IT Pro Portal discussing how matching IT outliers can help organisations retain talent and make the most of its team members.

It seems ridiculous that organisations rarely place a value on their most important asset – their people. In IT this makes even less sense. Take a computer software company for example. The value of the business doesn’t lie in the bricks and mortar of the office building or the computer hardware within it. The real value lies in the team. That’s why organisations need to fully understand the skills and abilities they already possess.

We inhabit a fast-moving high-skills economy and no more so than in IT. Those with the right skills are in demand and can be hard to find. And our environment is constantly changing. A 2017 McKinsey report, Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation, estimated that jobs related to developing and deploying new technology will grow in line with a potential for increased spending on technology between 2015 and 2030 of more than 50 percent. About half would be on information-technology services.

With this ever growing skills gap, new and expanding IT organisations must make the most of their existing employees, identifying the outliers with unearthed potential. Does your organisation have people with outlying skills or abilities? Do you know what they are? Are these skills being deployed in your organisation? Or are they hidden and under-utilised?

Potential not performance
In the past, organisations haven’t been very good at finding their hidden gems. The standard approach is to identify high-potential employees (or HIPOs as they are often called) and place them in an expensive talent development programme. But these so called high-potential programmes are badly named.

Tools such as KPIs and subjective management appraisals only assess current contribution. They do not help you to understand potential. This is particularly the case with outliers, whose talents often go unnoticed or not understood. Looking for HIPOs will not help you to find the exceptional programmer, unhappy and underperforming in a management role as it’s the only way to progress. Or the new team member brimming with up to date knowledge and great ideas but lacking the confidence to come forward. Your existing employees can often step up and comfortably meet those difficult to fill skills gaps.

I have a friend who already has a successful career as an emergency doctor under his belt. Now with a young family and desire for a change – and a better work life balance – he is working as a senior software developer. He is using his problem solving skills, ability to think outside the box and his calm systematic approach in much the same way that he did to save lives in the aftermath of a road traffic accident. He has taken his programming hobby and turned it into a new career. But what are the options if your employees don’t have an obvious hobby or talent to pursue?

Unlocking hidden talent
We now have the unprecedented opportunity to harness artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the power of predictive analytics to find out where hidden talent lies. Through the use of AI, millions of data points can now be processed. Something which is beyond the abilities of even the most experienced HR professional or senior manager.

We can process and analyse hiring, workforce and external performance data to provide invaluable insights around the best fit for people’s talent and potential. Not just when they are recruited, but throughout the life-cycle of their employment, allowing you to go far beyond a CV and an annual performance appraisal. And these developments are all shaped and informed by our increased understanding of cognitive neuroscience.

Another critical aspect is how you can now identify strengths which are currently under utilised. People with potential can then be employed dynamically in the right circumstances and context. This becomes particularly important when trying to build cognitively diverse teams where change or transformation are mission critical. With the lifespan of organisations now shorter than ever before, all companies need to focus on creativity and innovation in order to survive.

Measurements can assess cognitive attributes, emotional intelligence, health & wellbeing, personality, behaviour, culture and team fit, as well as other core skills and competencies. New possibilities include advanced computer vision, which can analyse micro facial expressions and process audio recordings, video and written content. It’s an accurate, consistent and fair way of getting the right people into the right roles.

Real employee engagement
We know that employees with a good job fit are happier, more productive and loyal. This is particularly worth considering when research by Gallup shows that only 30% of workers are engaged in what they do.

Despite the high pay and well publicised perks, tech industry giants such as Amazon and Google are not immune. According to Payscale’s employee turnover report, the turnover rate among Fortune 500 companies in the IT industry is the highest among all the industries surveyed.

A possible explanation is that IT and tech companies hire smart young people. People who thrive on constant change and challenge. People who are likely to get bored quickly and move on. And in the current climate there won’t be a shortage of job offers. By providing new opportunities internally you will be holding onto a valuable asset.

The benefits of keeping good people are multiple. It’s tough out there and using your existing resource will save you money and time. As well as significantly reducing organisational risk. It’s now possible to combine statistical analysis with the latest machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to scientifically and accurately predict current and future performance. This simultaneously creates the internal feedback loops which inform machine learning, keeping you ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying and filling your own skills gap.

By getting your people into the best roles for them, you will reduce churn and increase productivity. And by identifying the outliers in your organisation you will be tapping into an incredible (and existing) organisational resource. Are there individuals within your organisation with extraordinary abilities who could be transformative for your business? It would seem foolish not to look.

For more information about how Cognisess helps organisations retain talent and make the most out of their team members contact us at support@cognisess.com

See more from IT Pro Portal at https://www.itproportal.com/

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Are our strengths any real indication of our potential or performance?

Dr Boris Altemeyer, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognisess explores the pros and cons of basing organisational strategy on strengths versus potential.

As human beings, we all have our strengths and enjoy being reminded of them or praised for them.  It is easy to concentrate on those, as they appear to come naturally to us and often without too much effort. But that doesn’t necessarily make us the rounded individuals or leaders we really aspire to be. Often it is the areas we find hardest to apply ourselves to, which are the ones we need to concentrate more on in order to become better. If not careful, our strengths are something we can hide in rather than open ourselves to the more challenging of rigours and adventures – particularly where we are facing new environments, challenges, threats or opportunities. One of the most misquoted aphorisms used in the modern context is the belief that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution stated ‘only the strongest survive’. He didn’t say that. He in fact said – ‘the most adaptable species were most likely to survive’.

And whilst our strengths are attributes we can and should draw upon to compliment the range of tools we have at our disposal, it must not be forgotten that these are limited to a personal status quo and usually within a single or particular area of application.

At Cognisess, we assess the whole potential and preferences of a person (or team), which can be applied across many different areas and can be developed on further.  Knowing your strengths alone may help you get better at what you are already good at, but it will not in itself necessarily contribute to making a great organisation or culture – particularly if that strength is in over-abundance or possibly not essential to the prevailing challenge. More critically it is about profiling strengths with potential and how these can be applied dynamically in the right circumstances and context. This becomes particularly important when trying to build cognitively diverse teams where innovation, change or transformation are mission critical. After all, if you stick to your status quo – then you are only ever likely to get more status quo. However, if entrenchment is the main strategy for the business – then those status quo strengths may indeed help you achieve that – and probably with some to spare.

A personal development plan based on some strengths is certainly a good starting point – particularly for building confidence. However we believe that personal development plans need to take into account much more than just strengths that already exist. Very often it is the potential and hidden strengths you didn’t know (or think) you had – or were told you didn’t have – that equate to higher performance and greater fulfilment. Often – where there is no clearly defined pathway, or problems are getting increasingly complex and inter-connected within the business – it is having a greater understanding of a person’s or team’s entire skills mix and potential that is crucial. It is this insight within the context dependent situation that makes people (and often the least expected candidates) highly valuable in an organisational context.

From a commercial perspective, there are also very distinct financial differences between the deployments of a multi-dimensional platform like Cognisess versus a simple, one-use, strength-based assessment. Cognisess Pro is not only designed to be a strategic tool that maps whole organisational talent pools and potential, it is also flexible enough to inform quick, tactical decision making in terms of team building, talent profiling, recruitment and development needs assessments.

Because it is very cost effective in comparison to other assessment tools, it is more widely available and affordable to profile entire functions and divisions, rather than be only used by a select group of high-level individuals or high performers.

Furthermore, because the Cognisess system, powered by Deep Learn™ our predictive analytics engine, is based on a recursive learning structure it is powerfully able to ingest people assessment data alongside available workforce and market specific data. This supports the strategic management of human capital and helps identify where minor adjustments in talent deployment and training may lead to significant benefits in terms of performance and ROI. This is particularly useful when used for its performance appraisal features whereby someone’s strengths, talents and potential can be assessed against actual performance outputs.

Our Cognisess Pro assessment platform provides a suite of over 40 assessments, plus the ability to analyse video, audio, and linguistics, for a very competitive price – which is, per candidate / employee, often lower as a per annum subscription than a single strength based assessment.

Increasingly within most organisations, the strength of a person today may not be the answer to competitive edge tomorrow. Adaptability and learning are therefore at the core of everything that Cognisess Deep Learn™ does to predict future performance of a team or individual in a highly dynamic environment.

Identifying potential and making it actionable where it counts – welcome to Cognisess Deep Learn™.

For more information about Cognisess Pro and how it is powered by Deep Learn™ get in touch at support@cognisess.com

How do we know our assessments are reliable? A comparison with CANTAB

As part of its Global Cognitive Empathy Study (GCES), the Cognisess Research team, led by Chief Scientific Officer Dr Boris Altemeyer, has been conducting research with a number of UK Universities and Colleges to further confirm the reliability of Cognisess’ assessments by comparing them with the clinically approved CANTAB assessments.

We all want to find the perfect job – a job that captures our full attention and gives us an environment where our values align with our actions. But the perfect job is hard to find. Choice, rather than being an advantage, is one of the biggest obstacles between the ever-elusive perfect job and us.

We can use self-reflection to point us in the right direction, turning inward to think about our passions, what we are good at and what we would like to be good at. A huge number of different factors could be the reason why we’re currently in a particular career. Whether this career is right for us often depends on no more than luck. Clearly then, the right sort of help is needed to allow us to find right job.

Cognisess provides that help and with our assessments you can see just how well you fit certain roles. Our tools highlight what makes you a unique individual, ranging from your personality – how you react in certain situations and to other people – to your general mental ability. However we are only as accurate as our tools, so to further improve these, at the beginning of this year we began an exciting new research project.

What are CANTAB assessments?

In neuropsychological testing, CANTAB assessments (from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery) are one of the most extensively validated tools, with more than 30 years of research investigating their reliability and validity. We are now in the process of comparing how participants perform in the gold standard CANTAB assessments, versus how they perform in our own.

How can we prove the reliability of what we measure?

CANTAB and Cognisess assessments both evaluate cognitive and emotion recognition performance. If a participant performs well in CANTAB, they should perform well in Cognisess. In statistical terms, this is known as convergent validity, or construct validity. Researchers typically determine construct validity by answering a simple question, does the assessment measure what it claims to measure?

Anyone can take part in our research project and to ensure that we collect data that is representative, we are conducting the project with an eclectic group of participants. Those taking part range from college and MBA students to CEOs and other individuals in full time employment, and we are working with Bath College, Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and the University of Exeter to achieve this.

Focussing on our users

The project also allows us to gather valuable user feedback on the Cognisess assessments. In the realm of research, fun and assessments are not typically synonyms. When assessments are designed for recruitment, this further reduces the likelihood that individuals going through the process will enjoy what they are doing. Yet it has become apparent that users really enjoy using the Cognisess system and playing our assessments.

Peter Wills, 18, from Bath College said, “My favourite games were ColourSwitch and MatriX, although I swear that sometimes there was no X to find in MatriX. I really liked comparing my results with my friends and that got me to play the games again, so that I could get a better score.”

Our assessments are short and to the point – which is very popular with our users. As Bath Spa Art Student, Sanket Shrestha said, “I was surprised about how much fun I ended up having and it didn’t feel like a drag.”

By comparing our assessments against the CANTAB battery, we can ensure that neither the brevity nor entertainment of our own assessments detracts from their reliability. We’re seeking to make our assessments as good as they can be without impacting on any of the important aspects of our system that appeal to our users.

If you would like to learn more about the study then get in touch with us at support@cognisess.com.